Loyalty certainly isn't in question as Deep Purple's Ian Paice battles Pink Floyd's Nick Mason in the first round of our March Drum Madness competition. For four and five decades, respectively, the two men have served as the only constant member of their famous band's constantly changing lineups.

In Mason's case, that meant helping Pink Floyd evolve from psychedelic progressive rock pioneers to the unquestioned masters of the concept album format on landmark works such as The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Deep Purple mined vaguely similar prog-rock territory upon their late-'60s arrival, but soon shifted into more stripped-down, blues-based hard rock territory on records like Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head.

We've placed 32 of the most famous drummers in classic rock history into our March Drum Madness bracket. Over the coming weeks, their ranks will be cut in half in each of five rounds until we arrive at your choice for the greatest rock drummer of all time.

So who gets your support – Nick Mason or Ian Paice? You can vote once per hour in each of our 16 opening March Drum Madness battles until the first round closes on March 23 at 11:59PM ET. The ultimate winner will be revealed on April 7.

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